The Weight of the Crisis: Evidence from Newborns in Argentina
Argentina hit headlines around the world in 2002 on account of the largest debt default in history and a sudden economic collapse that generated statistics reminiscent of those from the Great Depression. In this article we focus on other consequences of the crisis that are not so obvious but that may linger for decades. Combining macroeconomic indicators with the Argentine national registry of live births (approximately 1.9 million from 2001 through 2003), we show that the crisis led to an average birth-weight loss of 30 grams. Our estimate is robust to different identification strategies. This deterioration in birth weight occurred in only about six months, and represents one-sixth of the difference in average birth weight between American and Pakistani babies. We also find that the crisis affected particularly the weight of babies born of mothers of low socioeconomic status. In an attempt to estimate the long-term economic costs of the crisis, we simulate the average loss of future individual earnings due to the reduction in average birth weight: about $500 per live birth.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Savanti, Maria Paula & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2005. "Rising returns to schooling in Argentina, 1992-2002 : productivity or credentialism?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3714, The World Bank.
- Heather Royer, 2009. "Separated at Girth: US Twin Estimates of the Effects of Birth Weight," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 49-85, January.
- Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
- Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5294. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.